Some fans waited 2 hours to enter Toyota Field for Trash Panda home opener

Updated: May. 12, 2021 at 1:35 PM CDT
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HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WAFF) - Anxious Rocket City Trash Panda fans made their way into the stands for the team’s opening night. Entry to the field seemed to be moving smoothly but quickly became out of control.

Trash Pandas VP of Marketing Lindsey Knupp held a press conference following the Trash Pandas first home game.

Watch it below:

Some fans say it took them almost two hours to get into the game, but many say they understand this is all part of the growing pains of having a new team.

“It took an hour and 45 minutes to get here and get parked,” says Richard Thornton.

With only one lane into the parking lot, traffic backed up quickly. Lindsey Knupp, Trash Pandas VP of Marketing, says she is hopeful they can work with the city to figure out how to get more entry points to the parking lot.

“There are six points of entry to get to Toyota Field and then one lane to get to the parking lot. So of course we need to figure out another way to have more than one entry point to get into the parking lot because that doesn’t work,” says Knupp.

Some desperate fans eager to get to the game even parked on the road and walked.

“We saw people parking on the roads, being very impatient. It was chaos,” says one Trash Panda fan, Thornton.

Another fan said he had his parking pass prepared, like suggested, but it was much quicker to just walk from another parking area.

“Waiting in line on Zierdt Road, I decided to park on the other side of the apartments and actually walk because I was walking 4 to 5 times faster than the traffic was moving.”

Knupp says her staff was analyzing every aspect of tonight to find out how they can improve the experience for everyone.

“Please be patient with us. We are going to try and work through this. Come up with maybe more signage, directions, or more communication, whatever that might be.”

At the end of the day, spirits were high at Toyota Field for a much anticipated sold-out opening night.

Armand and Ann Capanna are season ticket holders who just moved from Chicago and say baseball is a huge part of their lives. They have high hopes for the Trash Pandas this season and they enjoy watching the development of the players in Minor League Baseball.

The Capannas say this is a terrific addition to the Madison area. Every fan that spoke with WAFF says they are very impressed with the field and its amenities.

“I like the fact that it is a smaller stadium in my experience, but it has a little bit of everything. It has a lot of variety as far as concessions, beverages. It has some good luxury sections upstairs, premium sections,” says Tim Keenan.

“I think the stadium is really really put together very well. It seems to be very fan-friendly,” says Capanna.

The Trash Pandas fell to the Tennessee Smokies 4-3 at their inaugural home game, but that didn’t stop fans from having a good time!

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